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This Website is part of a multinational effort in Michigan, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec to bring you the latest information about emerald ash borer.
Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. The adult beetles nibble on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Emerald ash borer probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating in its native Asia. Emerald ash borer is also established in Windsor, Ontario, was found in Ohio in 2003, northern Indiana in 2004, northern Illinois and Maryland in 2006, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia in 2007, Wisconsin, Missouri and Virginia in the summer of 2008, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky in the spring of 2009, Iowa in the spring of 2010, Tennessee in the summer of 2010, Connecticut, Kansas, and Massachusetts in the summer of 2012, New Hampshire in the spring of 2013, North Carolina and Georgia in the summer of 2013, and Colorado in the fall of 2013. Since its discovery, EAB has:
- Killed tens of millions of ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone, with tens of millions more lost in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Quebec, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
- Caused regulatory agencies and the USDA to enforce quarantines (Michigan, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Quebec) and fines to prevent potentially infested ash trees, logs or hardwood firewood from moving out of areas where EAB occurs.
- Cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries tens of millions of dollars.
BABY, IT'S COLD OUT THERE -- BUT IS IT COLD ENOUGH TO ERADICATE EMERALD ASH BORER?
The prolonged sub-zero temperatures experienced this winter in North America have raised hopes that pests like EAB will freeze to death.
Though studies suggest that this may happen to some of the EAB larvae, it looks like it may not be enough to make a big impact on the EAB population. Here's what some of the experts are saying:
While there might have been some effect [on EAB], a Michigan State University professor who is one of the state's leading experts on the pest said it is doubtful it had the overwhelming impact reported elsewhere.
"It's probably not nearly as much as we'd like," said Deborah McCullough, an MSU professor in the departments of entomology and forestry.
"...The ability of insects, including EAB, to survive cold winter temperatures depends greatly on whether the insects are acclimated to colder temperatures," she said.
In fall, as the temperatures drop, physiological changes occur in most insects, including EAB, McCullough said.
"The insects are able to produce a sort of antifreeze that keeps their cells from freezing," she said.
(see the full story here: "STATE: Frigid temperatures might not have killed emerald ash borer")
From New Hampshire
One way that cold temperatures can be helpful is by beating back the wave of invasive insects that have laid siege to the state’s forests, but State Entomologist Piera Siegert tells NHPR's Brady Carlson that the some of the recent headlines about the impact of this cold on invasive bugs over-state the case in the Granite state.
Siegert says Red Pine Scale and Hemlock Wooly Adelgid are both more exposed to cold than the Emerald Ash Borer, but all three bugs are adapted to deal with the cold. The Ash Borer in particular is remarkably cold hearty. Several recent media stories have stated that this beetle would be killed by cold of -30 degrees Farenheit, but Siegert says it has to be that cold "below the bark." In other words, there's no guarantee that this cold will cause populations to decline.
"What really impacts the insects is going to be extended very cold temperatures, or warmups in February where the temperature comes up to a spring-like temperature and then goes through a rapid decline again," she explains. Even if the populations do decline, Siegert says these bugs have an extremely "high reproductive potential" and would bounce back quickly.
(see the full story here: "State Entomologist: Cold Not Enough To Stop Invasive Bugs")
Information circling the Internet earlier this week suggested a silver lining to London's record-breaking cold weather emergency — the death of the dreaded emerald ash borer.
As it turns out, people may have gotten their hopes up a little too early. According to Taylor Scarr, provincial forest entomologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the cold snap happened too late in the winter to be much of a help.
"There may be some impact of the cold weather on the survival of emerald ash borer in Ontario, but I think it will be minimal," Scarr said. "It didn't get cold enough, soon enough, fast enough. It has to happen early, it has to happen fast, and it has to happen deeply."
Reports stemming from research out of Minnesota earlier this week said the extreme temperatures associated with the so-called Arctic Vortex might kill off a "significant percentage" of emerald ash borer larvae.
Scarr, however, said studies done in Ontario, including ones spearheaded by Brent Sinclair at Western University, found that once temperatures drop down to the -30C range, about half of the emerald ash borer larvae have a probability of dying. Put another way, it means still half of the insects will survive.
And that, Scarr said, was looking at the temperatures in January and February. If these cold temperatures would have occurred in November or December, it might have had more of an impact.
(see the full story: "Extreme cold won’t help London's emerald ash borer problem")
For those of us living in regions of North America where the bitter cold seems to hang on and on this winter, it would be nice to hear that the death of EAB is a silver lining. But it looks like EAB can handle it.
These stories, and other news stories related to cold tolerance of EAB, can be seen on this website's "Latest News" link. Meanwhile, dress warmly!
New Strategy Being Developed to Deal With Emerald Ash Borer
- Research is being conducted at universities, as well, to understand the beetle's life cycle and find ways to detect new infestations, control EAB adults and larvae, and contain the infestation.
- Quarantines are in place to prevent infested ash firewood, logs or nursery trees from being transported and starting new infestations.
This Website provides information from Michigan State University, Purdue University, the Ohio State University, the Michigan and Ohio departments of Agriculture; the Michigan, Indiana and Ohio departments of Natural Resources; the USDA Forest Service; the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS); and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Our goal is to help you find answers to your questions about EAB. We also provide links to other EAB-related Websites. Please check this site often because information changes frequently.
What to know about EAB:
- It attacks only ash trees (Fraxinus spp.).
- Adult Beetles are metallic green and about 1/2-inch long.
- Adults leave a D-shaped exit hole in the bark when they emerge in spring.
- Woodpeckers like EAB larvae; heavy woodpecker damage on ash trees may be a sign of infestation.
- Firewood cannot be moved in many areas of Michigan, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin because of the EAB quarantine.
- It probably came from Asia in wood packing material.
If you suspect you may have EAB in your ash trees, call these numbers:
- Michigan — 1-800-292-3939
- Colorado — Colorado Dept. of Agriculture at 888-248-5535, or email CAPS.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Connecticut — The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station at 1-203-974-8474 or email CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov
- Georgia — Contact your county Extension office or email to Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at: email@example.com
- Illinois — Contact your county Extension office. The Illinois Department of Agriculture also will offer a toll-free hotline at 1-800-641-3934 for extension-confirmed infestations
- Indiana — 1-866-NO-EXOTIC
- Iowa — 1-515-294-5963
- Kansas — 1-785-862-2180
- Kentucky — 1-859-257-5838
- Maryland — University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center — 1-800-342-2507 or the Maryland Department of Agriculture — 1-410-841-5920
- Massachusetts — 1-866-322-4512
- Minnesota — 1-888-545-6684 (Arrest-the-Pest Hotline)
- Missouri — 1-866-716-9974
- Nebraska — 1-866-322-4512
- New Hampshire — Report suspect trees and submit photos of damage to www.nhbugs.org or call 1-800-444-8978.
- New York — 1-866-640-0652
- North Carolina — 1-800-206-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- North Dakota — North Dakota Forest Service in Fargo at 701-231-5138 and North Dakota Department of Agriculture in Fargo at 701-239-7295 or Bismarck at 701-328-4765
- Ohio — 1-888-OHIO-EAB
- Pennsylvania — 1-866-253-7189
- Tennessee — 1-800-628-2631
- Virginia — The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Plant Industry Services at 1-804-786-3515
- West Virginia — 1-304-254-2941
- Wisconsin — 1-800-462-2803
- USDA APHIS — 1-866-322-4512
- Canada — 1-866-463-6017
Scientists are studying methods of controlling EAB. The latest information on insecticide evaluations can help homeowners, arborists and landscapers decide if and how they can treat trees for EAB.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since the emerald ash borer's discovery in 2002, research has been ongoing to develop tools to control and eliminate this pest. Currently, there are a number of treatments available for use by homeowners or tree care professionals that can provide a varying degree of beetle control. A review of all options is recommended, as well as knowing the regulations regarding EAB quarantines and eradication strategies for your area. Contact your state department of agriculture for more EAB regulatory information. As more methods of EAB control are developed, more information will be available. References to commercial products or trade names do not imply endorsement by the entities supplying the information, or bias against those not mentioned. Reprinting of any material on this site cannot be used to endorse or advertise a commercial product or company.